Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Swallow Hill and Rap to Roots

*Michael Schenkelberg looks on as Jamaica Hines, 11, raps for an audience on an academic subject...

Although this is not what I normally post about there is a pilot program being attempted in the Denver Public Schools that is quite interesting. This program, which is called Rap to Roots, is an idea that is long, long overdue. Instead of the original version of rap music, which has difficulties in being degrading to women and promoting violence, in this program elementary students rap about certain school subjects in order to help them learn. For example, the young boy in this picture might be rapping about Shakespeare (think Shakespeare was a mellow fellow who wrote Othello!), Abraham Lincoln, or he might be memorizing his multiplication tables-all through the use of rap songs! This very useful program, of course, depends on funding and on whether a grant for next year can come through. You can voice your support by going onto Swallow Hill Records, which Mr. Schenkelberg is the director of, and sending them an email (http://www.swallowhillmusic.org) To read the article, go to http://www.denverpost.com/ci_12340733.

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